For optimal health, sleep experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep each night. That means our heads, hair, and faces make contact with our pillowcases for approximately one-third of every day.
As you select the best pillowcase to suit your sleeping needs, consider high-quality fabrics and durable construction. It’s essential to think about whether you need breathable cotton or linen fabric to mitigate warm sleeping temperatures. Or, perhaps you wish to find a cozy flannel for cold nights. If protecting hair and skin is an issue, a silk or satin fabric could be ideal with its ultrasmooth surface texture. Viable pillowcase options are available on the market to accommodate specific preferences.
- BEST OVERALL: Brooklinen Solid White Luxe Pillowcases – Set of 2
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Amazon Basics 400 Thread Count Cotton Pillow Cases
- BEST SILK: Leafbay 100% Pure Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
- BEST SATIN: Bedsure Satin Pillowcase for Hair and Skin
- BEST LINEN: Simple&Opulence 100% Belgian Linen Pillowcase
- BEST FLANNEL: Pinzon Signature Cotton Flannel Pillow Cases
- BEST ANTIMICROBIAL: Silvon Anti-Acne Pillowcase Woven with Pure Silver
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pillowcase
The characteristics of an ideal pillowcase choice include the design, color, type of fabric, and fabric quality. Additionally, the best pillowcase should be easy to launder and long lasting with repeated washings. Of course, comfort is an important consideration, with pillowcases available to suit warm or cool sleeping conditions and individual sleepers’ internal thermostats. Read on to learn more about the features to consider when selecting the best pillowcases.
Pillowcases are available in a variety of fabrics, including cotton, organic cotton, linen, cotton flannel, polyester microfiber, satin, and silk. These fabrics come in at various price points, and they fulfill sleepers’ needs for comfort, durability, and affordability.
Pillowcases made from breathable fabrics, including cotton, organic cotton, and linen, may be favored by those who tend to sleep hot. These absorbent and breathable fabrics provide comfort, and they do not hold heat.
For sleepers who seek an ultrasmooth texture for its gentle effects on skin and hair, pillowcases made from silk or polyester microfiber satin may provide a viable solution. Antimicrobial pillowcases are recommended for sleepers who experience facial acne, as the pillowcase fabric inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
Functioning as an indicator of quality in cotton fabric, thread count refers to the number of fibers in 1 square inch of fabric. A thread count of 200 to 600 represents acceptable quality, with higher counts in this range considered more desirable for strength, smooth texture, and luxurious softness.
However, thread count may not be significant as manufacturers may manipulate processes to achieve higher thread counts. For example, a manufacturer might use an extra-thin, inferior quality cotton fiber that yields a high thread count without contributing to the overall quality of the fabric. Some experts recommend that smart shoppers look for organic cotton rather than seeking a specific thread count.
To facilitate a satisfactory shopping experience, pillowcases are sold in coordinating sizes to fit standardized pillow sizes. These are typically labeled standard, queen, and king. There’s no need to guess whether the pillowcase will fit the pillow.
A standard-size pillow measures 20 inches by 26 inches, and a queen-size pillow measures 20 inches by 30 inches. A standard pillowcase typically measures 20-21 inches by 30-32 inches so that it will fit both standard and queen-size pillows. While a standard pillow inside a standard pillowcase fits with extra fabric overhang at the open end, a queen-size pillow will also fit snugly into a standard pillowcase.
Pillowcases are also available in queen sizes and king sizes. While a king-size pillow measures 20 inches by 36 inches, king-size pillowcases typically measure 20-21 inches by 36-41 inches.
If we sleep approximately eight hours each night, that means our pillowcases provide the resting surface for our heads and faces during one-third of our lifetime. For a healthy sleeping environment, a pillowcase with antibacterial or antimicrobial properties may offer the prime solution.
Microbes are microscopic organisms that live all around us, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Some of them cause illnesses or skin problems. Antimicrobial or antibacterial pillowcases feature fabric that is constructed or treated to inhibit the growth of microbes. Dermatologists recommend pillowcases made from antibacterial fabric for their acne patients.
In warm sleeping conditions, sleepers may experience discomfort from pillowcase dampness due to sweating. Even when the temperature is not hot, many experience night sweats due to various health conditions. For those sleepers, a moisture-wicking pillowcase offers a favorable solution.
Moisture-wicking fabric is made from a high-tech polyester fiber that draws moisture away from the body and spreads it out for evaporation. Sleepers also choose cotton, organic cotton, and linen pillowcases for their coolness and breathability, but these fabrics do not wick moisture away from the body.
Controlling the temperature of the sleeping environment is not always easy or convenient. Even when the temperature is perfect, an individual sleeper’s internal thermostat may produce a too-hot feeling. Of course, there’s still the dilemma of partners who share the same sleep environment. When one partner is comfortable, the other may be too hot. These circumstances call for heat regulation, and the right pillowcase can contribute to sleeping comfort.
Pillowcases made from all-natural cotton, organic cotton, and linen are useful for heat regulation, as they tend to be cool, absorbent, and breathable. Although they may contribute to a feeling of coolness, these fabrics do not wick moisture away from the body. Polyester microfiber and flannel pillowcases are not viable choices for heat regulation, as they do not have the same coolness and breathability as cotton and linen.
Ease of Cleaning
Housekeeping experts recommend laundering sheets and pillowcases at least once every two weeks. Experts suggest that washing the sheets and pillowcases weekly is a preferable option for those who tend to sweat while they’re sleeping. With a regular laundry schedule, pillowcases might be washed hundreds of times during their lifetime.
Manufacturers provide recommendations for laundering their bedding products, so it’s always a good idea to read their instructions. Most pillowcases can be machine washed in cool or warm water with mild detergent. Manufacturers suggest machine drying on a low heat setting. Silk or satin pillowcases may be turned inside-out and placed in a mesh laundry bag before machine washing in cool water with mild detergent.
Our Top Picks
Based on a search for high-quality fabrics, attractive colors and designs, and comfort-promoting properties, here are the top picks for the best pillowcases. Read on to learn more about pillowcases that provide softness, breathability, smoothness, warmth, coolness, or antimicrobial properties to suit your specific needs.
These durable pillowcases are made from 100 percent all-natural cotton, but they have the smooth texture and slightly luminous sheen of silk. With a thread count of 480, the sateen weave ensures the cotton fibers are tightly woven, providing a heavier weight for comfort and strength.
These pillowcases are free from harmful chemicals via the Standard 100 certification from OEKO-TEX. They’re also silky soft with a tightly woven weight that make them suitable for year-round use.
Select the muted color that complements your bedding. Choose from solid white, graphite (dark gray), smoke (light gray), smoke stripe, and gray windowpane check. Machine wash these pillowcases in cool or warm water, and tumble dry on a low heat setting.
These economical pillowcases offer outstanding features for comfort, safety, and appearance, but they’re available at a budget-friendly price. Made from wrinkle-resistant, 100 percent all-natural cotton, Amazon Basics pillowcases provide quality and value.
With a 400 thread count, the cotton fibers in these pillowcases are tightly woven to produce a sateen finish. This quality makes them feel soft and smooth for sleeping comfort. To match or complement any bedding set, select from among seven solid color choices. These include beige, dark gray, navy, seafoam green, smoke blue, stone gray, and white.
In addition to their luxurious feel and appearance, these pillowcases pass the Standard 100 chemical and environmental safety tests conducted by OEKO-TEX, an independent textile-certification organization. Customers can rest assured that these pillowcases are free from harmful chemicals. Machine wash and tumble dry these pillowcases to clean.
The term beauty sleep is more than an old adage. With approximately a third of every 24 hours spent sleeping, skin and hair are subject to the effects of a pillowcase’s surface. Dermatologists and hair stylists recommend sleeping on silk pillowcases to reduce facial wrinkles and prevent dry, frizzy hair. The silk fabric in these pillowcases from Leafbay provides a smooth surface with 45 percent less friction than other materials, offering healthy benefits for skin and hair.
Pillowcases from Leafbay are constructed from 100 percent pure mulberry silk. This means that the silk fibers are spun by silkworms feeding exclusively on mulberry leaves. The resulting silk fabric is 100 percent natural, hypoallergenic, and odorless. Additionally, Leafbay silk is certified chemical-free by OEKO-TEX, the leading textile-testing organization.
Available in five solid colors, these silk pillowcases can match or complement other bedding pieces. Select from among blue, gray, ivory, taupe, or white color choices. The manufacturer suggests washing this pillowcase by hand.
Made from 100 percent polyester microfiber satin, these pillowcases offer a smooth sleeping surface beneficial for hair and skin. Because there is less friction from the surface, hair does not tangle and break from sleeping on these pillowcases from Bedsure. Additionally, the smooth, nonabsorbent satin fabric creates an optimal surface to minimize facial lines and wrinkles.
With an envelope closure, Bedsure satin pillowcases stay in place to look fresh and neat at all times. Select from 21 different solid colors to match or complement any bedding sets. They’re machine washable with mild detergent. Simply turn them inside-out and place them in a mesh laundry bag for washing. Dry on a low heat setting.
Because the polyester microfiber satin fabric is nonabsorbent, it may not be the best choice for those who tend to sleep hot. Sleepers who experience night sweats may not find this nonabsorbent fabric to be comfortable.
The pure linen for these pillowcases is made from the long fibers in the stalk of the Belgian flax plant. In Europe, linen is considered the highest-quality fabric for bedding. Its desirable qualities include strong weave, long-lasting durability, hypoallergenic properties, moisture absorbency, and breathability. Pure linen is known to be a durable fabric, as it becomes softer with every washing and provides years of use.
These linen pillowcases from Simple&Opulence stay in place with an envelope closure, presenting a neat appearance. They’re available in four solid colors, including natural linen, white, pure white, and purple.
Machine wash in cool water and tumble dry on a low-temperature setting. There’s no shrinkage, and the colors remain colorfast.
Made from 100 percent combed cotton, these flannel pillowcases provide softness and warmth for a comfortable night’s sleep, even when the temperature drops. A double-napped finish on both sides means that the cotton fibers are double brushed to create a velvety, soft texture while remaining breathable.
Cotton flannel is produced by weaving cotton threads and then napping or brushing the fabric to create an extra-soft texture. Rather than using thread count, a system of weight in grams indicates high quality in flannel fabric. Imported from Portugal, these pillowcases by Pinzon Signature are constructed from 190-gram flannel. That means the flannel weight is 190 grams per square meter, indicating optimal softness, warmth, and durability.
These pillowcases pass the Standard 100 test from OEKO-TEX for chemical-free properties and environmental safety. Additionally, they are machine washable and dryable.
While we’re sleeping, our faces come into contact with pillowcase surfaces. If those surfaces harbor bacteria, they can be detrimental to sleepers who experience acne. That’s why dermatologists recommend Silvon pillowcases for their acne patients. The pure silver-coated threads woven into the cotton fabric produce an antibacterial effect that shields facial skin from acne-causing microorganisms.
For those who do not experience acne problems, the antimicrobial properties of Silvon pillowcases may provide an extra layer of assurance for promoting a healthy sleeping environment. Using the silver-coated threads to create an antimicrobial effect, the company refrains from using chemicals or fabric finishing treatments. The ultrafine silver threads do not affect the silky-soft texture of the organic cotton fabric in these pillowcases. They’re comfortable, hypoallergenic, and breathable.
Choose from four solid colors, including sand, white, sky (blue), and silver to complement bedding and bedroom decor. These pillowcases are machine washable in warm water and dryable on a low heat setting.
FAQs About Pillowcases
Selecting the best pillowcases for your bedding may enhance your sleeping comfort, resulting in a better night’s sleep and improved daytime energy. With an abundance of choices available on the market, you may select fabrics, colors, sizes, and designs to meet your bedding needs. Here are the answers to a few questions that many shoppers have about choosing the best pillowcases.
Q. What makes a good pillowcase?
The pillowcases that feel best for sleep are soft, breathable, and comfortable. Many users choose colors and patterns that match or complement their other bedding pieces.
Q. What type of pillowcase is best for skin?
Because of its smooth texture, the best pillowcase fabric for skin and hair is silk. Satin fabric comes in a close second for protecting skin and hair while you sleep.
Q. What is a good thread count for pillowcases?
A thread count from 200 to 600 ensures a smooth, soft texture for pillowcases. Thread counts at the high end of this range indicate greater softness and durability.